Many a time the Venezuelan government said the opponents planned a string of provocations to put under doubt the results of presidential election to be held on April 14. As the recent polls show, acting President Maduro, who took the office after the demise of Hugo Chavez, is leading 12-15% in the race. The ratings favoring Capriles are rarely made public; they are produced by dubious non-government organizations funded by the United States. Everything testifies to the fact the team of opposition, headed by their candidate Henrique Capriles, cannot change the tide by the rules of fair play.
Extremists and paramilitary groups penetrate into Venezuela from Columbia, Honduras and Guatemala. The Venezuelan government takes all the measures to prevent subversive activities. It is especially concerned about the terrorists sent from Salvador to kill Nicolas Maduro. He is aware of the threat and has already made known the name of the person who stands behind the plot – Armando Briquet, the Capriles' campaign manager, who has close ties to right-wing extremists in Salvador.
Mauricio Funes, the President of Salvador, has taken seriously the Maduro’s warning; he promised a thorough investigation and noted these kind of terrorist acts have already taken place in the country. For instance, there has been an assassination attempt against Fidel Castro, there are Salvadorans put behind bars in Cuba for being involved in raids against Havana hotels. In July 2010 the Salvadoran called Chavez Abarca was arrested in Venezuelan Maiquetia airport carrying the passport of a Guatemalan citizen. He came to organize the assassination of then President Hugo Chavez. Nestor Reverol, Venezuela’s Minister for Justice and Internal Affairs, has just handed over to media a recording of tapped phone conversation between Salvadorans David Koch Arana, a retired Colonel with special operations experience, and lawmaker Roberto D'Aubuisson, one of leading figures of ARENA ultra-right political party. They talked about how to disrupt the election in Venezuela by committing a string of subversive acts. Two suspects have just been detained on the territory of Maracay, the home base of the 42nd Airborne Brigade. One was in civilian clothes; the other wore the uniform of Lieutenant. Supposedly, they were there on intelligence gathering mission to pinpoint the location of arms and explosives storages. After the arrest they tried to give a bribe to the military.
Maduro has warned his supporters that there have been attempts to commit subversive actions, for instance cutting off electricity lines and substations, providing electricity to large cities. The lights went off in Caracas recently for a long time and they plan to do it in other places of the country. Maduro said if it happened the national Bolivarian armed forces and the people should hit the streets to resist the plans for destabilization and defend the revolution of the XXI century. According to him, Capriles is in despair, he realizes he’s got no chance to win. Maduro said he would hold a decisive victory and the 10 million votes to be received will be a present for Comandante Chavez.
The Venezuelan authorities toughened the control over airports and seaways; the border with Columbia is closed for five days. The «Plan Republic» is in force to provide safety for constituencies, oil pipelines and refineries, communications and energy supply routes…
Dozens of thousands of military will be stationed across the national territory till April 15. The checks are taking take place everywhere. 22 electricity lines have been damaged in the state of Bolivar during an inspection. Fire safety measures are stepped up. Arsons took place at the last election. No doubt, it was done on purpose. They mainly set fire in the area of the Avila Mountains between Caracas and the sea shore to make people feel anxious and unprotected.
The Maduro team is vigorous and united while taking concerted actions, 3-4 meetings are held daily in different states. Thousands of people fill main squares and streets of cities to see Maduro. The Bolivarian candidate is met with genuine enthusiasm – his program is the continuation of the course implemented by Chavez. Social issues are a priority: further rising of living standards, providing working places and modern housing, progress of healthcare and education. Maduro never stops to remind what will happen if the opponents win. There will be no social payments, steady jobs, social missions, people markets (Mercal), affordable housing. He says he will be there to defend the legacy of Chavez.
The days till the election are numbered. On April 9 Maduro made one of most significant announcements. He said the wages will be increased up to 45% from May to November. The hike will be implemented in three phases. He had discussed the option with cabinet members, it is feasible, and the state has the means. A few hours later, Capriles made a «counter promise». He said he would raise the wages for all Venezuelans right on April 15 without any phases in case he is victorious. At the same time the opposition candidate invigorated the attacks against the National Electoral Council (CNE). He said it was a part of the ruling the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). Capriles lambasted the closure of Columbian border. It looks like there is no reason to be against. There will be calm during the election, especially in the Western states, with the routes to get inside the country’s territory reliably cut off for Columbian criminals, who cause high criminal rates in the states of Zulia. Mйrida Tбchira. At that, Capriles is dissatisfied. The supposition that it was not Salvadoran terrorists only, who Armando Briquet has hired, but Columbian mercenaries as well, appears to be justified.
While addressing the voters, Maduro often remembers the last months of Chavez being alive, the long conversations they held together. Once in Havana they talked for six hours. Chavez shared his vision of the country’s future. He warned Maduro that there would be no bed of roses ahead, everything could happen to him, and so Maduro had to be ready. It was exactly then, when he named Maduro as his successor. They talked about how difficult the world situation was and defined the strategic foreign policy goals, including: strengthening the integration process in Latin America and the Caribbean, the consolidation of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), the alliance with Cuba, using oil for boosting Venezuela’s geopolitical clout. China, Brazil and Russia, the key BRICS members posing a counterweight to the US hegemony, are to remain the Venezuela’s privileged partners. It was the substance of the Chavez’s policy and it fills the agenda of Nicolas Maduro today.
Maduro promises he won’t let Comandante Chavez down. He says, «All Venezuelans work for the benefit of homeland. The time has come to join the efforts together. The great man, Chavez, left the world, but he continues to bless and defend us. I admit missing the Comandante so much – as a leader and a teacher. And I will be faithful to the oath I gave him»…